Future sweet cherry project - help needed


I don’t like pears. I can eat one-two a day if they really good and then have my stomach bloated… . And with cherry I can easy eat 2 pounds in one shot with no punishment :grinning:. And you DO grow cherries despite all that trouble you describe :grinning:.
Checked Pearl@ cherries. Not for me, I like dark cherries with dark flesh… Even Black Pearl has red flesh, not dark red.


My cherries are not worth my effort. Pears and apples are.


Galina, I had some good Vandalay cherries this year. They are different from Bing because they both sweet and sour. I liked the sour part, for me they tasted like very good sour cherries in that regard. I am seriously considering to regraft my Danube with Vandalay and call them my sour cherries for fresh eating. :slight_smile: I am guessing that they will be good in cooking too. However I do not think that they are strongly self fertile type of cherry. They had decent crop only this year when they were crosspolinated with the other varieties. Before that I usually got 1-3 cherries per tree.


My former Vandalay was 6ft from Black Gold. It set well but not as plentiful as BG.

Cross pollination really helps increase yield.

Re. a KGB system, with renewing wood, it could be a bit challenging not to accidentally remove the grafts…


Do you know what rootstock it was on? Gisela should be more precocious than Mahaleb or Mazzard. Also, the pollination situation might matter. I agree that varieties that do well on West Coast might be worthless on the East Coast. However, Black Tartarian was very popular in England and was highly recommended in “The Cherries of New York” by Hedrick. Here is the description of BT by Hedrick:

Favorite dooryard and roadside sweet cherry. Tree is adaptable to different soils and climates; productive, healthy and robust; bears regularly, lives to old age and grows to prodigious size; comparatively free from brown-rot. Cherries not as large as some similar sorts, but have attractive rotund form and glossy black color and are a delight to the palate; handsome purplish-red flesh is firm and crisp, yet juicy, with a sweet, rich flavor which all agree is “very good to best.” A little too soft to handle well in harvesting and marketing or to hold its shape as a canned product, but for home plantation it is one of the best. Introduced to England in 1794 from Circassia, by Hugh Ronalds, as Ronald’s Large Black Heart, and in 1796 John Fraser introduced a variety, a native of Crimea, as Fraser’s Black Tartarian. Both turned out to be the same. Black Russian, listed by some firms, is probably Black Tartarian as it is used many times as a synonym. Tree large, vigorous, upright, vasiform, productive. Fruit matures early; less than 1" in diameter, cordate, compressed; color purplish-black; flesh purplish-red, with dark colored juice, firm, meaty, crisp, pleasant flavored, mild, sweet; of very good quality; stone free.


Lapins does turn very dark red (although not black) when fully ripe. I have been picking Lapins in local U-Pick orchards for a few years, and you quickly learn to judge the ripeness by the color.

I have no personal experience with the three varieties that you mention, although I remember reading opinions that Craig’s Crimson was very unproductive.

Protection form rain should definitely help (both against canker and against fruit cracking). However, you should still be careful not to prune when it’s very humid or foggy.


Interesting, good sour cherry is nice to have! :grinning: As of now I decided on buying 2 cherries, not one. Will sacrifice whole 12X4 bed for them that with 2’ path will make two 6x6 spaces. Now interesting part begins - what to get :grinning:. Funny thing is, I keep returning to Tehranivee and Craig’s Crimson even now, when I could choose not self-fertile ones…


If you’re getting two trees, choose one early/early-mid ripening variety and one mid-late/late ripening variety (as long as they’re pollination compatible). Cherry season is short and extending it helps.


yes, this is what I have in mind, Tehranivee(late) and Craig’s Crimson(early) should do it.
Can somebody share first hand information on Craig’s Crimson productivity?


My neighbor grew BT at her old house before and like it a lot. When she move to our neighborhood, she finally bought two trees. She does not know what rootstocks they are on and does not keep a record. They have grown quite vigorously.

She did not prune, either until I pointed out that it’d be difficult to net or pick any fruit. I would not call that she " pruned" them. She cut off several limbs.

Hopefully they will set more fruit next year. I don’t know if pollinators from my yard would go over to her trees. We are only about 150 ft only.


I have a Craig’s Crimson. I just planted it last year. The reason I bought it was for the patent New Root 1 rootstock they sell it on. I can’t say anything about the fruit yet. New Root 1 is supposed to be the first dwarfing rootstock for cherries.


What about G3, isn’t it dwarfing too?


I grow Lapins in Ohio. Flavor is very good. Not as firm as Bing, but I would still consider it firm. Planted in 2014 and was productive this year. It has been through at least on brutal winter. (appx minus 15 degrees). It was from Schlabachs. They say their semi-dwarf cherries are on Krymsk and are 60% of standard size. Raintree has Lapins on Gisela 3. I think that might be worth a try. I would guess that good drainage might be even more important for such a dwarfing rootstock. I recieved a Surefire tart cherry from them on Gisela 3 this spring, but all I can say is that it looks good so far.

Here are some actual pictures of my Lapins this year:


I seriously regret planting any sweet cherries. They are a pain in the butt. Today I bought a 3lb pack of sweet cherries from Sam’s Club that were labeled “Black Sweet Cherries”. They are phenomenal and I’d be hard pressed to grow anything as good or better. Better than any fruit I’ve eaten


I am relatively new, but maybe able to share some experience.

Below is White gold and Black gold on Gi 5 in large containers. The pruning method is SSA however without using promalin. Planted spring 2015, this year I got only about 1-1.5lb each tree. Cherries are good size and taste very good. I picked SSA pruning method is because most of the fruits are from the basal buds, basal fruit will have bigger fruit size.

Also have Vandalay and Tehranivee (Canadian varieties) are on Gi 3, planted Spring 2016. One fruit got stolen by birds :frowning: We will see how Gi 3 is doing next year.
(Zone 7b)


Oh, your Lapins look really nice and dark… What I saw on pictures online was more like bright red. What color is the flesh and juice?


I just ate some from the market last night too that were nice and dark, sweet, and firm. I was thinking how easy it was to buy them and how much work it is to fail at growing them, lol! These were on sale for $3.99 lb. I was thinking how cheep that was. I would hate to add up how much a cherry mine cost.

@galinas NEWROOT-1
Zaiger dwarfing rootstock for cherries. Dwarfs cherry trees to 8-12 ft. unpruned. Promotes early bearing. Ideal for container growing. More versatile than Mazzard and Mahaleb. Better adapted to clay soils than Mazzard and Mahaleb.


Why do rock climbers climb mountains? Surely not for the point of being at a certain height above sea level… For that they can use helicopters :grinning:. But for the process, for the sweat and blisters followed by the joy of the view and saying “I did it!” .
I am talking about cherries here :grinning:


Where did you find cherries on Gi3?


Raintree has them.